In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society by Mark Carey

In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society

byMark Carey

Paperback | November 3, 2010

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Climate change is producing profound changes globally. Yet we still know little about how it affects real people in real places on a daily basis because most of our knowledge comes from scientific studies that try to estimate impacts and project future climate scenarios. This book isdifferent, illustrating in vivid detail how people in the Andes have grappled with the effects of climate change and ensuing natural disasters for more than half a century. In Peru's Cordillera Blanca mountain range, global climate change has generated the world's most deadly glacial lake outburstfloods and glacier avalanches, killing 25,000 people since 1941. As survivors grieved, they formed community organizations to learn about precarious glacial lakes while they sent priests to the mountains, hoping that God could calm the increasingly hostile landscape. Meanwhile, Peruvian engineersworking with miniscule budgets invented innovative strategies to drain dozens of the most unstable lakes that continue forming in the twenty first century. But adaptation to global climate change was never simply about engineering the Andes to eliminate environmental hazards. Local urban and rural populations, engineers, hydroelectric developers, irrigators, mountaineers, and policymakers all perceived and responded to glacier melting differently -based on their own view of an ideal Andean world. Disaster prevention projects involved debates about economic development, state authority, race relations, class divisions, cultural values, the evolution of science and technology, and shifting views of nature. Over time, the influx of new groups tomanage the Andes helped transform glaciated mountains into commodities to consume. Locals lost power in the process and today comprise just one among many stakeholders in the high Andes-and perhaps the least powerful. Climate change transformed a region, triggering catastrophes while simultaneouslyjumpstarting modernization processes. This book's historical perspective illuminates these trends that would be ignored in any scientific projections about future climate scenarios.

About The Author

Mark Carey is Assistant Professor of History at Washington and Lee University.
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Title:In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean SocietyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:November 3, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195396073

ISBN - 13:9780195396072

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Melted Ice Destroys a City: Huaraz, 19412. Geo-Racial Disorder beneath Enchanted Lakes3. Engineering the Andes, Nationalizing Natural Disaster4. High Development Follows Disasters5. In Pursuit of Danger: Defining and Defending Hazard Zones6. The Story of Vanishing Water Towers7. The Risk of Neoliberal GlaciersConclusionAppendix 1: Glacier-Related Disasters in Cordillera Blanca HistoryAppendix 2: Government Entities Conducting Glacier and Glacial Lake ProjectsAppendix 3: Selected Cordillera Blanca Glacial Lake Security ProjectsNotesBibliography